Avon is the middle village on Hatteras Island. One of the downsides of island living is how much it costs to live there. After all, you’re not on the mainland where there are many roads and truck deliveries are easy.
On Hatteras, there is one road on and one road off. Getting goods to the stores and gas stations is expensive. This cost is passed on to the consumers. Those consumers, except in season, are the residents.
Combine that with the fact that there are so few stores. The non touristy stores stock things on the island that mainland stores don’t stock. Food Lion stocks fishing gear and beach toys. Ace hardware stocks kitchen towels, pillows, sheets, etc. Things I’ve never seen in any other Ace Hardware. Ordering specialty stock items, in the small quantities that are ordered, is not cheap for the stores. They stock these as a convenience so you don’t have to take an hour drive up the beach to go to a WalMart or Kmart.
Gas is expensive. It surprises me as to the number of gas stations on the island, but many of them close off-season. The gas prices are minimum $.20 more a gallon then they are off island. On this particular weekend, the cost of gas on the mainland was $3.28. We make sure we have plenty of gas before we turn onto 12 South.
If the stores on the island don’t sell what you need, and that can be a lot of what you need, then you have 2 options. Take an hour drive up the beach or order it online. Even ordering online can be more expensive because of the shipping. It costs more to ship to the island. When we bought the new rug for the beach house, we had to have it delivered to Richmond and haul it down ourselves because they didn’t deliver to the island.
Utilities and real estate taxes cost less than in Richmond. Homeowners insurance is outrageous. Not only do the banks require you to have homeowners, but you also must have flood and wind insurance. That in itself can add $200 to your monthly mortgage payment.
Right now, the higher cost of living doesn’t bother us. We both are working full-time, making much more than we could make working on the island. Once we move there permanently, that attitude might change. If we continue doing the type of work we do now, remotely, then it still probably won’t bother us. But, if we have to work on the island, our income would drastically drop. Many of the jobs are at or a little above minimum wage and a lot of them only exist from April to October, sometimes November.
But for now, we just chalk it up to one of those things we tolerate so we can live by the sea.